Nifty Mom

Tag: Activities

Preschool Craft – Making a 3D Fish Scene with Paper Plates

August 14, 2013 3 Comments

My kids are always wanting to cut, paint, glue, or just scribble on a piece of paper. Crafts are always a favorite activity and I often try to come up with different activities based on what they find appealing at the moment. Most recently it has been fish. We decided over the weekend to make our own little 3D fish scene using paper plates.

Paper Plate Craft 3D Fish Scene

Read More

BabbaBox Helps Me Spend Fun, Quality Time with My Son

December 12, 2012 5 Comments

BabbaBox ReviewMy three year old is growing into a young little man too fast and is extremely eager to learn new things all the time. His imagination and creativity has exploded the last few months and I am doing everything I can to encourage it. Sometimes it is difficult for me to get quality time with him. However, when my younger two sons manage to take their afternoon nap at the same time, I get some one-on-one time with Ethan. As a busy Mom of three, I don’t always have time to put together new, fun educational projects and that is where BabbaBox comes in.

BabbaBox is a monthly subscription home-delivered box. Each box has a theme and it includes everything needed to create projects and expand the minds of three to six year old kids. Each box contains three products, a book, digital download and a parent gift.

Sun Moon Stars BabbaBox Contents

We received the ‘Sun, Moon, & Stars’ box which included:

  • CREATE: Paper-Mache Glowing Moon
  • CREATE: Star Constellation
  • EXPLORE: Lunar Calendar and Binoculars
  • STORY TELL: ‘Twinkle, Star of the Week‘ Book
  • CONNECT: Digital Content with How-To Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a Digital Piano and a ‘Planet Finder’
  • PARENT GIFT: Star Wine Cork
Read More

Fab Five Friday – 5 ‘Other’ Uses for Foam Pool Noodles

September 14, 2012 No Comments

Indoor Play with Pool Noodles

With summer coming to an end, I have been thinking about new fall activities and re-purposing summer toys.  Yesterday, I was in my garage and noticed a few foam pool noodles that we didn’t really use this summer. I knew I could find some new uses for them so the search was on and this weekend I plan to start my projects. But for now, here are my top 5 favorite uses I found for pool noodles.

 

Using Pool Noodles to Learn

Photo Courtesy of HappyBrownHouse.com

1. Over-sided Beads & Lacing Patterns: I know my sons are going to have tons of fun with these. Sara posted on Totally Tots this great idea to slice a few different colored noodles. Write a letter or number on each piece. Little ones can lace them in order, copy patterns, or spell words. I can see hours of fun and learning here. Deborah from TeachPreschool.org takes it a step further and cuts a slit in each one. This allows the kids to connect them to create chains.

 

Using Pool Noodles Indoors

Photo Courtesy of lindsayandandrew.blogspot.com

2. Marble Run: Lindsay from LindsayandAndrew sliced noodles in half and created a little ‘race track’ for marbles.

 

Using Pool Noodles as Indoor Play

Photo Courtesy of InnerChildFun.com

3. Hammer Time: I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this idea from Valerie over at Inner Child Fun. She attached pieces of pool noodles to cutting boards and then the kids can use their toy hammers to hammer golf tees into the noodles. I am just going to say this is the first one I am going to make this weekend. My 2 & 3 year old sons have been attached to their toy hammers this past week and want to hit/hammer everything (including the walls, tables, and even each other).


Games with Pool Noodles

Photo Courtesy of Parents.com taken by David Roth

4. Backyard Play: Parents.com has a few ideas for using the pool noodles in the backyard making a Target Station, Rings, Wicket, and more.

 

Using a Pool Noodle to make a Wreath

Photo Courtesy of LoveofFamilyandHome.net

5. Wreath: Tonya from Love of Family and Home made this super cute Autumn wreath and the form is a pool noodle!

Do you re-use pool noodles for outside of the pool?

 


How to Make Homemade Moon Sand {So Easy}

August 31, 2012 7 Comments

Flour and Baby Oil to Make Moon sand

My sons always want to dig, get messy and play with their shovels. This summer has been extremely hot and with an infant, we aren’t spending a lot of time out in the heat. I have heard from people that flour and baby oil mixed creates a homemade moon sand. I decided to try it out to give my little guys a way to dig indoors.

NEED:

  • Flour (14 cups)
  • Baby Oil (20oz)
  • Container (I used a long under-the-bed plastic tote that was $8 at Target)

Simply mix the flour and baby oil and you have homemade moon sand! The measurements do not have to be precised. I used about 12-14 cups of flour and a whole bottle of baby oil. You can make a smaller batch in a smaller container if you prefer. I used a larger one because I have two sons that would be playing with it at the same time. It was better than I thought it was going to be. The texture was perfect. It can form/mold when compacted, yet easily fall apart with pressure.

Flour and Baby Oil Forms a BallMy boys like to drive cars in the ‘sand’ so we make roads and hills.

Things to do with Hot Wheels and CarsThey also love to make castles (I think they may like destroying them more though).

Making castles with moon sandThey could play with if for hours if I let them. It is a little messy, but messy is fun! Oh, and it smells good!

*A little tip, if you have any rings on, I recommend taking them off before you mix or play with it. I didn’t take my ring off when I mixed it and played with them. Afterwards I realized I had flour and ‘sand’ caked into every little crevice.

 


Mother’s Day Gift Idea – Handprint Flower

May 4, 2011 16 Comments

Finger Paint Handprint FlowerIf you are looking for something cute to do with your toddlers or kids for Mother’s Day, this is easy and there are so many things you can do with it! Use pink or red finger paint for the ‘flower’ and paint a stem/grass (this was the best I got out from my 22 month old). I always use card stock instead of copy paper, because it is thicker and shouldn’t warp from the paint.

Here are some different ideas you can do for gifts for Moms, Grandmas, etc.:

  • Make a card with the flower on the cover
  • Attach a picture of your little one next to the flower and frame it
  • Do some ‘flowers’ on wrapping paper for the present or on a gift bag

Nifty Tip:

I always take a picture of the artwork and upload it on my computer. Then not only is it forever saved, but you can use it to print copies, make photo gifts (mug, shirt, mouse pad, etc), or use it in a photo book.

***Click here for another finger paint gift I did with my son.

***Or you can make a Handprint Sun or Footprint Butterflies.

UPDATE: Check out the Handprint Tote Bags we made!

 

 


Father’s Day Gift Idea – Framed Finger Paint Picture

May 1, 2011 6 Comments

I came up with this idea for a gift for my husband last Fathers Day. Our son was 11 months old at the time and I decided it was time for him to do his first artwork and finger paint. It was so much fun and so easy to do!

NEED:

  • Crayola Washable Fingerpaints
  • Poster Board
  • Waterproof mattress protector ($10-$15 at Target) – Easy clean up, a great back drop, & reusable
  • Camera
  • Picture frame
  • Tape

I draped the sheet over a table so it was a background and covered the floor area.

I put down one paint color at a time and let him paint. And after it was all done, I was very happy with his artwork! It was perfect to use as a picture mat. *Nifty Tip: Take a picture of the finished artwork. This way you can use it as a digital background or just have a copy of it.

I picked my favorite section and cut out the size of the frame I was using. *Nifty Tip: Take the frame (with the backing and inserts removed) and hold it over the artwork to see what it will look like before you start cutting.

I then picked my favorite picture (which was not easy, there were too many good ones!) and cut it to down, allowing more room to see the painting. Tape to picture anywhere on the painting and put it in the frame.  Now you have a wonderful gift or decor you can keep for yourself!Other Ideas you can do with the left over artwork:

  • Make another frame or two
  • Use it as a scrapbook background and scrapbook the pictures you took
  • Use a section on a homemade greeting cards

Paint Color Ideas:

  • I used green, orange, and blue because it was for my husband
  • Use red, white, pink, purple for Mothers Day, Valentines Day
  • Use pastels for a spring picture
  • The possibilities are endless :)

***See the hand print flower I did with my son for more ideas.